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TU-Automotive Detroit: Connectivity at the heart of automotive innovation

We attended TU-Automotive Detroit 2019 and discussed how connectivity is driving new services for the cars of the future. Here is what we learned from the panels and presentations.

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Ericsson has been making the conference rounds and in addition to this year’s Future of the Car event held in London, we recently attended the 2019 TU-Automotive show in Detroit. We’ve been seeing a developing trend - the automotive industry is rapidly headed towards connected, autonomous and electrified vehicles. At the heart of all these advancements will be the need to collect and process massive amounts of data while on the go. Making that all possible is wireless connectivity. Here is what we saw at TU-Automotive Detroit.

Harmony in the ecosystem

The automotive industry is changing its business models in order to capitalize on data, and more importantly, how to increase revenue streams. The connected technologies being introduced into vehicles are all part of a larger ecosystem and will need to be interoperable and able to work within it. As no single player can handle it all, we saw automotive OEMs express a great need to cooperate and co-invent to support the larger ecosystem. Also discussed was how all the collected data and intelligence will be shared, going forward, necessitating an open ecosystem.

Intelligent connectivity is helping the drive to Industry 4.0

Other trends were focused on the customer experience. Speech recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) have made it possible to seamlessly introduce the same personal assistant experience to which we’ve grown accustomed to using at home, in the car. AI is also the motor powering autonomous vehicles.

Ericsson’s VP of Global Sales Connected Vehicles, Juergen Daunis, participated in a panel on “Intelligent Connectivity – The fusion between 5G, IoT and AI,” along with IBM, Orange and Verizon. The panel highlighted how these technologies will all play critical roles in the car of the future and how when combined, will transform the auto industry into a digital services business. AI is also enabling OMEs to reduce warranty and recall costs, as well as create new business models by collecting and analyzing car sensor data to learn more about driver habits.

A lot of new technology has recently been introduced and this trend will not be letting up anytime soon. Unfortunately, current cellular networks are simply not technically capable of supporting the advancements of AI and the high speed, low latency needs of autonomous vehicles. When vital decisions need to be made by a moving vehicle, there is simply no time to wait for data to transfer. Aware of this and the current limitations, many regions around the world where autonomous vehicles are starting to be tested, require a human to always be at the ready to take over control, if the need arises. Edge technology will certainly help the computing required and lower latencies, but only 5G has the necessary capacity to make truly self-driving cars a reality from a connectivity standpoint.

Ensuring a smoother ride

One final thing that rang clear at TU-Automotive was that we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of possibility. Amazing innovations on the horizon will combine to enhance the driving experience of the future, making the trip safer, easier and more enjoyable. Those supporting the automotive ecosystem and making it a success have recognized the potential of Industry 4.0-on-wheels and are adapting their approaches to take advantage of it. Data is the new oil and the insight from the data is the new fuel. As they craft their solutions, OEMs are realizing the key is to not think about connectivity as a cost, but rather as a business enabler.

To learn more about connectivity management and seamlessly making it a part of digital automotive service offering, please check out how Ericsson captures the full potential of connected vehicles.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Stellan Öhrn
Stellan Öhrn is Director of Sales and part of the Global Sales Engagement team within the Ericsson IoT organization responsible for sales engagements for the Ericsson Connected Vehicles portfolio in North America.
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